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City offers liquid refreshment
It is definitely summer. Just listen for the splash in the pool at Ceres High School filled with residents of all ages enjoying the aquatics program offered by the city of Ceres Parks & Recreation Department.

The city just finished up its first session of swim lessons and drew approximately 125 children and youth, said recreation assistant Traci Dayton-Farris.

The next session, Session II, begins July 6 and ends July 16.

"There's plenty of spots available so encourage people to sign up," said Farris.

Session III runs July 27 to August 6.

Lessons are for those six months of age and up. Cost is $40 per session of eight classes.

Kimberlee Skinner was one of those parents watching from the steamy deck of the pool, envious of son Andrew Howey, 9, taking lessons. She signed up her son and daughter to become stronger swimmers and more safety aware around water.

Another parent, James Jorgensen, was watching son Cole Jorgensen frolicking in the water with instructor Caitlin Imelio of Turlock.

"Cole was not a swimmer. He was real timid when they started a few weeks ago but he's learned quite a lot," said Jorgensen. "He's confident."

According to pool manager Brad Blackburn, a former Ceres resident who attends college in Los Angeles, lessons are staged on different levels based on on swimming ability. There is an infant and toddlers class, pre-school class as well as Level I through Level IV classes. Each class starts out with a five-minute safety lesson and 40 minutes of water instruction, except for the toddler class which is only 30 minutes long.

The pre-school and toddler class is basically about weening students from their parents and making them more independent in the water. Level I gets students to float on their back without fear. Level II focuses on freestyle swimming across the pool. Levels 3-5 hone swimming skills and become better divers and learning breast- and back-strokes.

Swimming lessons aren't the only program being offered at the pool. On Monday the city's Aquatics Camp started its first session. It runs until July 3 while Session II starts July 20 and ends July 24. The camp is for children aged 5-13 and runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $85 and includes a camp T-shirt.

The Junior Lifeguard Camp is for 11- to 15-year-olds and runs 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 7 to July 30. Cost is $60 and includes a camp T-shirt.

The city's Water Polo Camp is for children aged 8 to 16 years of age. This camp runs 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, July 6 to July 29. Cost is $60 and includes a camp T-shirt.

Water aerobics class will be offered to any adult 18 and older on Mondays and Wednesdays, until uly 29 between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Cost is $45.

The city is offering its Open Swim program Fridays and Saturdays from June 12 to July 25. Open swim is offered 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each swim session is $2 per child and $2.50 per adult.

Pre-registration is required for all fee-based programs (with the exception of Open Swim). Register at 2720 Second Street, online at, or call Traci Farris at 538-5682 for more information.